Thursday, July 07, 2005

Hurricane Season is Coming....Are you ready?

Be Prepared -- Be Safe -- Be Smart -- Prepare a Disaster Recovery Plan

Margate, Florida, May 2005. The hurricane season is not even officially started here in Florida and already the all too familiar news alerts are coming in. Fears of death, destruction, and loss of livelihood are but some of the headlines we hear resulting from the forces of nature that have Florida and the East Coast preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best. This year as we all anxiously awaited the reports from the experts and our worst fears were confirmed, Government forecasters predicted the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season would be worse than average along the East and Gulf coasts calling for 12-15 tropical storms, with 7-9 becoming hurricanes, and 3-5 of these becoming major hurricanes. The likely range of ACE index is 120%-190% of the median. Colorado State University forecasting seven hurricanes, with three of them severe. Only one important fact remains ... ARE YOU READY?

Author Diana Ennen lives in Margate Florida and like many Floridians witnessed four hurricanes last year. With a son in college in Gainesville, a sister in West Palm, and her family in Margate, her experience felt similar to that of the hurricanes, they covered the entire state of Florida. As a home-based business owner, she too worried about the loss of her business with each passing storm. Fear, anxiety, extreme stress and facing the unknown seemed a way of life for months on end. The only comfort was the fact that she had taken the time to prepare. She did what all the experts had recommended and even before the warnings and watches were raised, “She was READY.”

Not knowing that Florida would experience the worst year ever in history, she accepted an offer from another author to help co-write a book on Disaster Planning. The book was barely complete when the first hurricane hit, yet, Ennen was able to utilize it to provide her the peace of mind and security she needed in this time of utter panic and uncertainty.

Ennen contends, “Before the storm, I was racing trying to keep in touch with family members, making sure my college son was okay in a campus far away from home; trying desperately to secure my home and my home business; quickly making back-ups of everything and getting important documents and client information to a different location, and all the while remaining calm in front of my other two children. I didn’t have the time to write down my insurance information, computer and equipment serial numbers, business contacts, family and friend contacts, medical needs and medications, credit card info, and gather up all my vital information. Fortunately, I had already done that vital step. It was just a matter of looking it over and making sure it was still up-to-date.

Patty Gale’s vision for this book for home-based businesses on disaster recovery and contingency planning came after she had prepared a similar one following 9/11.for a company she was working with at the time. As Patty suggests, “Many companies don’t realize the need to write the plan so that someone would be able to come right in and recreate your entire business utilizing the information you have provided. You need to include key personnel, contact and client information, web information, and so forth. Computer back-ups are vital, as well as where they are located onsite and off.”

Their book, Home Office Recovery Plan: The Disaster Predpardness Guide for Your Home Business is essential for all living in the eastern states and all home-based businesses. It is formatted in a workbook setting enabling you to write down all your vital information on your business and personal information. Since your business is your home, protect both at one time. This book helps home business owners prepare a comprehensive disaster-preparedness plan for their home business and their home.
The evidence from last year storms show that the difference between being prepared and waiting until the last minute is more than just the inconvenience of waiting in lines at grocery stores and Home Depot. It can mean the loss of life, the loss of your business and earnings, and even the loss of being able to connect with family after a crisis. Take the time. Do it now. And together ... we all will survive the season with hopefully a “Gee it wasn’t as bad as we thought it was going to be.” That’s would be a great end to this hurricane season.

For a free sample chapter of our Home Office Recovery Guide go to Home Office Recovery Plan and also get tips and suggestions there as well for hurricane and storm preparations.

About the authors: Diana Ennen and Patty Gale are both successful home-business owners. Diana Ennen is the author of several books including Virtual Assistant the Series, Become a Highly Successful Sought After VA and others. The Home Office Recovery Plan is available at You can contact Patty at and Diana at

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